Top 11 Books I Read in 2014

top 10 2014

During 2014, I reviewed a total of 93 books.

(Damn, that’s a lot of books.)

How did I read so many and also manage to have a life?  I’m weirdly impressed with myself.

These are a few of my favorites, summed up in only a sentence or two.  This was originally going to be a top 10 list, but there were so many wonderful books that I couldn’t narrow it down, so it’s a top 11 list instead.  Books appear in the order that I read them.

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wrecker: Two mythological creatures from different homelands and walks of life find themselves struggling to survive among New York’s immigrant communities in the late 1800s.

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen:  A girl gets kidnapped by trolls who want her to marry their prince to fulfill a prophecy.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work.

Fool’s War by Sarah Zettel:  Science fiction featuring a female Muslim protagonist, a jester, and a rogue artificial intelligence.

The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley: A star-based magic system and interesting gender constructs pave the way for this stunning epic fantasy.

Six Gun Snow White by Catherynne Valente:  A familiar fairy tale is reconceptualized to examine race and gender issues in the Wild West.

Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier:  A woman is released from prison by the fae on the condition that she spends seven years helping others.  She travels to a village where she stumbles upon a mystery.

The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin: In this fantasy novel loosely based on ancient Egyptian society, priests perform euthanasia to harvest magical dreamblood.

Jackaby by William Ritter: Paranormal novel featuring an eccentric detective in the vein of Sherlock Holmes.

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer: A team of explorers enters Area X, a mysterious place where the fabric of reality appears to be altered.

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence: A somewhat dickish (anti?)hero is determined to become king, no matter what it takes.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson: This verse novel recounts the author’s childhood, including some of her first encounters with racial issues.

What are some of your favorite reads from the past year?

21 thoughts on “Top 11 Books I Read in 2014

  1. Tempting list! I need to read Juliet marillier again. I used to love her. I’ve bought The Stolen Songbird after reading your review btw. And, of course, Jeff Vandermeer is tempting as well.
    All the best for 2015. I hope you manage the same again – read many great books and still have a life. 🙂

    1. I’d never read any Juliet Marillier before Dreamer’s Pool and had one of those “Where have you been all my life?!” moments. I’m hoping to read more of her work in the upcoming year. 🙂

      The sequel to Stolen Songbird is supposed to come out this year, and I can’t wait!

      Happy reading in 2015!

  2. It’s so hard to remember all my favourites from 2014, but the three that stand out the most are The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness, The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld, and Bird Box by Josh Malerman. If you haven’t read them, you definitely should in 2015 :).

    1. “The Book of Life” was excellent. I ended up enjoying that trilogy tremendously, which was interesting because I was so-so about the first book, then absolutely devoured two and three.

      What’s “The Bird Box” about?

      1. OMG!! You have to read it right away! It is sooo freaky. Here’s the synopsis:

        Most people ignored the outrageous reports on the news. But they became too frequent, they became too real. And soon, they began happening down the street. Then the Internet died. The television and radio went silent. The phones stopped ringing. And we couldn’t look outside anymore. Malorie raises the children the only way she can; indoors. The house is quiet. The doors are locked, the curtains are closed, mattresses are nailed over the windows. They are out there. She might let them in. The children sleep in the bedroom across the hall. Soon she will have to wake them. Soon she will have to blindfold them. Today they must leave the house. Today they will risk everything.

        1. I should add that the reason it is so good is because it’s all about the unknown. You’re never sure what is going on outside. You will develop theories, but it’s all a mystery. So suspenseful!!

  3. I really must read THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI and something–anything–else by Juliet Marillier. Both the book and the author seem to feature prominently on everyone’s Best of 2014 lists.

    1. Yes! You’d love The Golem and the Jinni; it’s a neat blend of historical fiction and fantasy, and it’s beautifully written. I’m hoping to read more Juliet Marillier in 2015. 🙂

  4. Such a great list – and so many books to add to my TBR pile. I thoroughly enjoyed the Golem & The Jinni, as well as Stolen Songbird and Jackaby.

  5. Nice to see your list. I had Annihilation on mine as well, it was a memorable read. I’ve yet to be disappointed by Vandermeer, so I really should read more, including the other two novels in this trilogy. 🙂

    1. I fully intend to read the rest of the trilogy this year. Annihilation was the first Vandermeer I read, and I was surprised how such a short book could pack so much of a punch. I loved it.

  6. Will have to add these to my list. And I see Cindy has talked you into reading The Bird Box. I promised her I would read it this year. She keeps telling me it’s the best book. Hope you enjoy and happy reading.

    1. I started Fairyland once and didn’t get very far into it, but it was also right around when I took my grad school blogging hiatus, so I think it was more an error of timing than anything to do with the book itself. I love Valente’s writing, and Six Gun is amazing.

  7. I’ve read three of your list and have three waiting to be read. Can’t wait to get to Dreamer’s Pool. Must check out some of your others.
    Lynn ;D

    1. Dreamer’s Pool was really good. I had a “Where have you been all my life?!” moment and wish I’d have discovered Juliet Marillier’s writing sooner.

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